Watch live as NASA launches new crew to International Space Station

Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev

This crew will be comprised of Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos, Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency.

"The crew will orbit Earth 34 times before the spacecraft's arrival and docking", NASA announced in an update. That team is comprised of Americans Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and Russian Oleg Artemyev.

NPR's Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi and Emily Sullivan reported in March that private companies Boeing and Space X have been involved in helping with space expeditions for the past two decades.

At 1.15pm BST (8.15am EDT) on Friday NASA will stream live the Soyuz MS-09 mission module attempting to connect to the ISS.

You can catch the coverage from 8:15 a.m. ET, with the docking expected to take place at 9:07 a.m. ET. The three arriving astronauts will remain aboard until December. The crew of six will spend the coming months working on about 250 science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development, according to NASA. Epps remains in consideration for future missions, NASA said.

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The International Space Station's newest crew members are en route to their new home.

The capsule has already made several trips to and from the space station, taking supplies and other cargo.

A majority of Americans say NASA should remain a global leader in space exploration, but a recent Pew Research study looking at the public's perception of the US space program find support for a human mission to the moon or Mars is low.

"Strong public support that the US should continue to be at the vanguard of space exploration is widely shared across gender, educational and political groups".

Blue Origin, on the other hand, is testing a system that it hopes will form the basis of a commercial space tourism service, though it also has ambitions far beyond that.

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